Big Tech’s dominance at risk: German antitrust chief raises AI concerns

The head of Germany’s antitrust authority, Andreas Mundt, has raised concerns that the growing influence of AI could further enhance the dominance of Big Tech corporations.

 Flag, Germany Flag

Andreas Mundt, the head of Germany’s cartel office, has issued a warning about the potential for AI to enhance the market power of Big Tech companies. Mundt’s concerns reflect the regulatory apprehensions that tech giants, with their vast user data reservoirs, could gain a competitive advantage in various sectors, from smart homes and web searches to online advertising and automotive technology.

He highlighted the necessity for regulators to be vigilant against any anti-competitive behaviour as AI’s popularity continues to surge globally. Tech heavyweights, including Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft, have recently engaged in AI rivalries, investing significantly in AI development.

The AI boom has prompted governments worldwide to seek regulations for AI technology, with the EU striving to implement its landmark AI rules by year-end. Mundt emphasised the importance of preventing AI from further strengthening the dominance of major corporations, given the pivotal role played by powerful servers and vast data in AI development, which are already possessed by major internet corporations.

While Mundt acknowledged that competition still exists in the AI field, he cautioned that regulators must ensure it continues. Smaller AI providers have the potential to gain widespread popularity and evolve into new platforms or operating systems, thus introducing new competitive dynamics. He stressed the need for regulatory authorities to protect and foster competitive potential in the evolving AI landscape.